Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used to make white wine. It originated in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France but is now grown wherever wine is produced. The Chardonnay grape itself is very neutral, with many of the flavors commonly associated with the grape being derived from such influences as terroir and oak. It is vinified in many different styles, from the lean, crisply mineral wines of Chablis, France to New World wines with oak, and tropical fruit flavors. In cool climates (such as Chablis and the Sonoma Coast AVA of California), Chardonnay tends to be medium to light body with noticeable acidity and flavors of green plum, apple and pear. In warmer locations (such as the Adelaide Hills and Mornington Peninsula in Australia and Gisborne and Marlborough region of New Zealand) the flavors become more citrus, peach and melon while in very warm locations (such as the Napa Valley AVA of California) more fig and tropical fruit notes such as banana and mango come out. Wines that have gone through malolactic fermentation tend to have softer acidity and fruit flavors with buttery mouthfeel and hazelnut notes.
- Item #: i_220440Bottle Size: 750mlOwner and winemaker Matt Courtney started Ferren after an eight-year apprenticeship with Helen Turley at Marcassin Vineyard. The wines are made using traditional Burgundian methods without fining or filtration, and native yeasts on the grapes from the vineyards perform fermentations. Matt Courtney was featured in a full page picture in the Wine Spectator for their first release and got some great attention. This is on the winelist at the French Laundry, Meadowood, Solage, and the wines are very limited!
Excellent bouquet, this opens beautifully on the palate with Asian pear, stone fruits, nice energy and structure, really nice acidity on the finish, long complex. A blend of Frei, Silver Eagle and Lancel Creek vineyard and only 10% new French oak.
- Item #: i_223470Bottle Size: 750MLRyo-fu is Japanese for "cool breeze." The cool, foggy breeze that comes off the Pacific Ocean allows the Russian River Valley to grow high quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The area's sandy soil is crucial as well; but without the right temperatures, the fruit could ripen too soon or not at all. Thanks to Freeman's local "ryo-fu", the growing seasons are perfectly timed for their vineyards. The 2015 vintage will go down as the earliest Chardonnay harvest on record at Freeman, and with a little help from that cool breeze, all of the fruit came in perfectly ripe.
A blend of Chardonnay from vineyards such as Keefer, Heintz, and Mill Station, the wine shows medium straw color, with a throwback nose of matchstick, honey, ripe Gravenstein apples, and melon. The palate is tightly wound, combining strong acidity and a dense core of fruit. It will take a few years in bottle to reach its peak, but with enough aeration in the glass, everything comes together to reveal a vibrant, well-balanced Chardonnay. The drinking window should be 2018–2023.
- Item #: i_237450Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay shows the natural intensity of the year in its voluptuous, tropical personality. Pineapple, mint, orange peel, smoke and apricot infuse this racy, powerful Chardonnay. Oily and viscous on the palate, with tremendous textural depth and tons of sheer appeal, the 2015 has a lot to offer."
- Item #: i_238940Bottle Size: 750mlThe grapes for this Chardonnay came exclusively from Macrostie's Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, owned by Steve MacRostie and his partners Nancy and Tony Lilly. Here the vines dig into the sparse volcanic soil and stand firm against the strong winds that race in off of the Pacific Ocean most afternoons. This fog-shrouded mountaintop vineyard is a classic Sonoma Coast site, cool and challenging, and produces wines of great distinction.
Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay always delivers something special and unique, and this vintage is no exception. Both intricate and exotic, this wine begins with alluring aromas of Asian pear and fragrant orange blossom. On the palate, a round, rich mouthfeel accentuates Wildcat's signature high-tone notes of honey and spice. At the same time, thanks to Wildcat's windy growing conditions, which thicken the grape skins, it has beautiful structure and body.
- Item #: i_275530Bottle Size: 750mlOutlot's vineyards are planted to a range of clones, from the famed perfumed Dijon Clones, to the fleshy clone L7, to the tropical clone 4. Through small lot fermentation they enhance the distinction of each clone, then blend in proportions that bring the best of each to the resulting wine.
Fermented in oak barrels and with a light golden yellow in color, the Outlot Chardonnay has a nose reminiscent of warm apple pie with hints of cardamom, toffee and acacia blossoms. The luscious, creamy entry on the palate leads to waves of honeycomb, honeycrisp apple, peach, and a touch of apricot, finishing with rich butterscotch flavors and a kiss of vanilla. A truly handsome wine.
- Item #: i_252770Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 90Jeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "Starting with the appellation 2015 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, this is a terrific, classic effort that's a great introduction into the style of the estate. Citrus blossom, honeysuckle, white flowers, and marzipan notes flow to a medium-bodied, fresh, elegant Chardonnay that still has depth, intensity, and length."
- Item #: i_266500Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 95This is not the first time that Stonestreet Chardonnay has been on our Top North American White wine list, but when we tasted the Upper Barn bottling at the winery, the group was pretty unanimous that we had to get our hands on every bottle we could and put it on our list! Stonestreet’s vineyards stand on the western ridge of the Mayacamas Mountains towering over the Alexander Valley below. High elevations, volcanically derived soils and cooling maritime breezes give winemaker Lisa Valtenbergs a unique location from which to pursue the quest of mountain winegrowing. With the soils being rich in iron, warm days, and cooling nights, Lisa produces Chardonnay of exceptional concentration, purity and depth. The majority of this bottling is produced from the Hyde-Wente clone of Chardonnay, which, in our opinion, produces the more complex and nuanced Chardonnays on the market today!
WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay Upper Barn Vineyard opens with lovely grapefruit, fresh pears and apple pie notes with touches of croissant and toasted almonds plus a waft of brine. Medium-bodied, very elegant and very refreshing, the palate and a wonderfully mineral character and long, beautifully nuanced finish. 1,025 cases were made."